CARRIERE, MS (WLOX) - Julie Barcheers served in the military for 30 years until she retired in 2012 because of injuries she sustained while fighting for her country in Iraq.
"I still miss the uniform. I miss the comradery, and I miss the structure," Barcheers said. "As a retiree, you have no schedule anymore."
Barcheers says she's still getting used to the retired life. Since May, when she was awarded a house through a program run by Bank of America that gives homes to veterans through nonprofit organizations, she's able to better adjust to her new life.
"It made me happy to realize that people cared about others instead of being selfish," Barcheers said. "There was a sense of pride, you know. It's like wow, and then there was tears, because I couldn't believe it."
Ted Longo, a financial advisor working for Bank of America's investment division, gave Barcheers the keys to her new home back in May.
On Sunday, he had the honor of presenting Barcheers with a check for $1,200 so she can continue to grow and develop in her home, neighborhood and community.
"It's an honor. It's a gift. For what she's done in this country, for what she's done in both her careers, when you look at that, it's a wonderful thing for us to be able to give to her," Longo said.
This will be Barcheers' first Christmas in her new home. She says she's excited to have her daughter and granddaughter with her to share the new memories.
"It's amazing to be able to facilitate my mom being able to pick her life up and get it back together and set up a new home and make it homey. She's very happy, and it's good that she's happy," Barcheers' daughter, Scooter Wood, said with a smile on her face.
"As long as you have the gift of giving in your heart, you'll have Christmas every day of the year, because that's what it's about. My daughter and granddaughter got to be here, celebrating my first Christmas in my home. It's just like a dream come true. It's like sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure it's not a dream and that it's real," Barcheers said.
She says because of the back pain she suffers from, the first thing she will be purchasing with her Christmas money is a new mattress for her bedroom.
Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.